For the Bird

Newsman Walter Cronkite, bombshell Jean Harlow and actor Don Cheadle are among Kansas City’s celebrity exports. But perhaps no KC name generates as much mystique as jazz pioneer Charlie Parker.
According to legend, he began at age 11 on a borrowed saxophone. Lacking proper training, Parker was kicked out of the school band for his dreadful playing. Eventually, the Bird morphed into a sax-ual dynamo. He flew the KC coop in 1939 to conquer New York City’s bebop scene. Sadly, Parker’s fondness for the drug and the drink cut his life short, and he died at 34.
But today’s party, starting at 3 p.m. at the Mutual Musicians Foundation (1823 Highland), will be anything but somber. Celebrate your favorite bebopper’s b-day with the music that put us on the map and all the fried chicken you can stomach. The event is free. Call 816-471-5212 for more info.
Mutual Musicians Foundation

Sun., Aug. 26, 3 p.m.